Viewing posts from June, 2018
Posted by: Onno van Nijf 4 years ago
We have just received funding for our project Connecting the Greeks: multi-scalar festivals in the Hellenistic world. We shall investigate the role of agonistic festivals in the crucial timeframe from the third to the first centuries BC when festivals with athletic and cultural contests flourished as never before. This festival explosion was not simply the outcome of the spread of Greek civilization, but it was rather a major contributor to the process of identity creation at local regional and global levels, and to the growing interconnectivity of the Hellenistic world. This project aims to subject this multi-scalar festival culture to a rigorous analysis with innovative tools, theories and methods derived from social sciences and digital humanities, including network analysis and agent-based modelling. There will be a central role for the connected contests database. One focus area will be the development of a mapping tool to display the mobility of athletes and performers between festivals. We shall also be recruiting two PhD students starting early 2019 to investigate the festivals and the representation of Hellenistic rulers and ruler cult, and the development of regional festival networks.
New feature! Distribution map of festivals
Take a look at the first version of our geographically and chronologically determined distribution map of festivals ((the link is also available via our homepage). The map shows cities in the ancient world where one or more festivals were organised. Sliding the bar below the map allows you to see the chronological development and popularity of the cities and their festivals. The size of the red bulb represents the number of participants in a particular period. By clicking the red bulbs you will see which festival(s) were hosted by this particular city, how many known participants it attracted, and the names of the athletes and musicians that were born in that particular city. We are working on improving the functionality of the map, i.a. by creating a map that shows the result of any query you might run.
New content! Organizers and competitors in Boiotian contests centred on Rome
The newest addition to the database includes ca. 150 competitors in and organizers of some Boiotian contests associated with the presence of Rome, that were being organized in the second and first centuries BCE: the Amphiaraia kai Rhomaia in Oropos, the Rhomaia in Thebes, and the alleged Erotideia kai Rhomaia in Thespiai. Like other contemporaries, the Boiotians seem to have used their association with Rome through these contests to claim their status in a rapidly changing world.
CfP - Rooted Cities, Wandering Gods: Inter-Urban Religious Interaction
We are proud to announce that the members of the Connecting the Greeks project are organising a conference on inter-urban religious contacts, to take place (hopefully in person!) at Groningen in the autumn of 2021. We invite anyone interested in cities, religious practices, and the ties between them to submit an abstract – you can read all about the conference theme and confirmed speakers in the full call for papers.
New content! Competitors associated with Hellenistic dynasties
Over the winter we’ve added a miscellany of competitors associated with the royal dynasties of the Hellenistic world. These range from actual royalty (the Ptolemies in particular were very fond of chariot-racing) to Greeks who came to take part in the new contests established by rulers eager for recognition and cultural authority. Particularly notable is Arsinoe II (Person ID 4178) - successively married to two of the most powerful rulers in the Hellenistic world and the first woman in Greek history to be declared a god, she won three races at the same Olympic festival in 272 BC. Also fun is an unnamed actor from Tegea (Person ID 4202). Known for outstanding performances in tragedies, he also managed to win a boxing contest at the newly-founded Ptolemaia festival at Alexandria. It’s still uncertain whether this means that the quality of the new competition was low, or whether he simply got very lucky!
Caldelli's Capitolian victors online
All victors and participants collected by Caldelli (L'Agon Capitolinus. Storia e protagonisti dall'istituzione domizianea al IV secolo, 1993) have been added to the Connected Contests database. Find out all about the strange story of Herakleides, whose dream that he butchered the audience and judges during his performance meant that he would lose - which he did (event ID 30166). Or about the enormously successful Marcus Aurelius Asklepiades (person ID 656), a.k.a. Hermodoros, who quit boxing in his prime (he was 25) because of 'dangers and envious people' in IG XIV 1102.
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